The team issued a short press release on November 8 to announce the news. The new name for the 2023 season will be Mike Harmon Racing with Gary Keller. The rebranded team will now spend the offseason preparing to take on the 2023 Xfinity Series season.
“Gary coming on board is a blessing to MHR which will be known now as Mike Harmon Racing with Gary Keller,” team owner Mike Harmon said in a press release. “I’m very happy that Gary believes in us he sees the passion and the hard work that we put into our racing. It’s the shot in the arm we need here at MHR with Gary Keller”
Gary Keller Had Ties to Another Xfinity Series Team
Keller’s partnership with Mike Harmon Racing is far from his only foray into NASCAR. He has a long history in the sport that includes a brief stint as an owner in the Xfinity Series, Camping World Truck Series, and ARCA Menards Series.
Back in 2012, Keller became a partner of JD Motorsports. The Johnny Davis-owned team officially became JD Motorsports with Gary Keller as the Ohio businessman focused on marketing and sponsorships for the Xfinity Series team.
This tenure featured Keller working with a variety of drivers at JD Motorsports. The list included Landon Cassill, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Lawson Aschenbach, Ross Chastain, Garrett Smithley, Tyler Matthews, BJ McLeod, David Starr, Colby Howard, Quin Houff, and many others.
Keller remained part of the organization into the 2022 Xfinity Series season. Though the team name reverted back to JD Motorsports midway through a campaign that featured Bayley Currey and Ryan Vargas as the primary drivers. Now he will take on a new challenge while working with another small NASCAR team.
Mike Harmon Racing Featured Multiple Drivers in 2022
The 2021 season featured Kyle Weatherman as the primary driver for Mike Harmon Racing. He made 30 starts for the team while posting an average finish of 25.8. Meanwhile, eight other drivers made limited starts for the team.
The situation changed after the 2021 season came to an end. Weatherman and MHR parted ways, which led to the Missouri driver making starts for DGM Racing and Jesse Iwuji Motorsports.
The 2022 lineup at MHR had five drivers combining to make 11 starts. Brandon Brown took over the entry at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course while Mike Harmon made a start at Talladega Superspeedway. Gray Gaulding took on the other Talladega race while Ryan Vargas joined the team at Portland International Raceway.
Brennan Poole spent the most time in the Mike Harmon Racing entry. He made seven starts for the team during the 2022 season, but he failed to finish six due to mechanical issues. His best run was a 31st-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in July when he was four laps behind the field. Poole also failed to qualify for a large number of races in the Mike Harmon Racing entry.